The Benefits of a Flat Sheet

Sheets. They’re not something you think of very often but one of the only items you use every day without fail.

There’s a time and place for a fitted sheet. (We love how easy they are to put on and how they don’t untuck in the night.) But a flat sheet is so much more versatile. It can be used in a whole number of situations, as we’ll see below. A good quality flat sheet is a simple, timeless, multifunctional item that you really can’t and shouldn’t have to live without.

Here’s why.

1. You can use it as a bottom sheet

The first and most obvious use for a flat sheet is, well, as a bottom sheet. Before fitted sheets were invented these were the only kind we ever used! The benefits of using a flat sheet as your bottom sheet are that you fold it around the mattress to fit perfectly. Whatever depth your mattress is, a well-tucked flat sheet should fit snugly. And if you get the size slightly wrong (as bed sizes can vary a lot), it should still fit fine.

The downside of using a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet is that it’s slightly harder to put on. You need to learn the knack of tucking it in at the corners. And if you don’t do it right, it will quickly become untucked and messy.

2. You can use a flat sheet with a blanket

You may have seen a flat sheet being used in this way in hotels, especially on the continent. The method uses two flat sheets: one as the bottom sheet and the other as a top sheet between you and a blanket. It’s a handy solution if you’re making lots of beds and looks very neat when the bed is freshly made.

There are a few downsides to this bed style, a flat sheet with a blanket usually isn’t as comfortable and cosy as a duvet. It’s also harder to quickly make your own bed as there are lots of sheets to tuck again to make it look neat.

3. You can add an extra layer between you and the duvet

Some people (and many hotels) choose to use a flat sheet as an extra layer when making the bed. It goes in between the duvet and your body and is tucked in at the feet around the bottom sheet. Using a flat sheet like this has a few benefits. It adds an extra layer of warmth on cold evenings and helps protect the duvet cover keeping it cleaner. It also feels quite luxurious to have all that bedding!

If you love a duvet but also like the feeling of your feet being tucked in and cosy at night, then try this method, tucking in your flat sheet at the foot of the bed.  

4. You can use a flat sheet as your summer duvet

In the summer a duvet or blanket can be too much. The temperatures rise and you end up kicking off your duvet in frustration. Sometimes only the thinnest layer will do. Enter the flat sheet - used in this instance as a blanket, a light covering layer for those hot summer nights. 

Note: If you’ve put your duvet away for summer but still want your bed to look ‘made’ simply place a thin blanket or throw over your flat sheet during the day. Then you can take if off at night, as you get into bed. 

How do I make the bed with a flat sheet as my bottom sheet?

To make a bed with a flat sheet as your bottom sheet you need to learn the ‘hospital corner’ - a particular way of folding it around the corners of your mattress. Take your sheet and lay it out flat over your mattress so you know it’s facing the right way. Next, tuck it underneath your mattress at the head and foot of the bed. After that, tuck in the sides by pulling the extra fabric tightly, creating a fold, and then tucking it all neatly under the mattress.

How do I make the bed with a flat sheet as an extra layer?

If you’re making the bed with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and a duvet, start by putting the fitted sheet on your mattress. Next lay the flat sheet over your mattress lining the end up with the head of your mattress. Tuck in the flat sheet with hospital corners at the foot of your bed, leaving it loose at the head of your bed. Next, lay your duvet (in its cover) on top. Then fold the flat sheet back over the top of your duvet cover to create a nice edge.

Note: if you want this extra layer but don’t like the feeling of your feet being tucked in tight, you can simply leave the flat sheet untucked. Though be warned it can get a little messy if you’re a wriggly sleeper. 

How do I know I’m buying good quality flat sheets?

The important thing is that you get a good quality fabric, one that will stand up to wash after wash, and continue to feel soft over time.

Whether you’re buying fitted or flat, make sure to check what your sheets are made of. For a good night’s sleep, you want a breathable fabric so choose natural materials like cotton or linen. For a quality check look at the thread count, where the fabric is from and whether it’s organic or long-staple cotton. 

Rise & Fall flat sheets

All our flat sheets are available in sizes UK single, UK double, UK king, UK super king, and UK emperor. Choose from our range of colours (white, light sage, warm grey and ivory chalk) so that your flat sheet matches or contrasts your pillow covers and duvet.

Both our fitted and flat sheets come in two different thread counts. Our soft & smooth cotton sheets come in at 600TC - a slightly weightier fabric with a five-star feel. While our crisp & cool cotton sheets have a 400 thread count, making them more breathable and perfect for summer months. For a more detailed explainer of the two thread counts, click here.